Liar, Liar - Getting Lucky
by Roslyn Hammer
My father had the ability to believe any lie he told. Once it was out of his mouth, it became his truth. He had it all figured out. Life was taking advantage of him. He was going to beat the system.
“When you fall down - stay down! Nobody knows if your back is really hurt. They can’t see a damn thing in x-rays! Even if you break your leg - go for the back. The back is where the money is!"
One afternoon I stopped by my parents’ home to visit. My father was sitting in his usual chair talking to himself loud and clear.
“Hey, what’s going on?” I asked.
“Your sister Debbie got lucky. Very lucky!”
I knew my father didn’t mean anything about sex.
“She got hit by a garbage truck. From behind.”
“What! Is she all right? Where is she?” I screamed.
“Oh, she’s fine. She’s gonna sue. Big-time!” “I’m not going to sue,” my sister yelled from the bedroom.
"Holy good Lord! You’ll do what I tell you to do! Nobody has to know the truth,” he yelled. I ran to the bedroom where my sister, Debbie, was lying down. She was crying.
"It was all my fault, my sister said. Both brake lights were out in the car and I slammed on my brakes.”“Why did you slam on your brakes?” “I saw a garage sale. There was this big desk with a roll-top. I had to have it!”
“Are you hurt?” “No. The truck barely touched me. The only damage to the car is on the fender and the brake lights are crushed.”
I could hear my father cursing to himself in the living room.
“Get away from her, Ros. She needs to rest. She’s got bad whip-lash! And don’t give her any of your advice,” he screamed. “Go talk to him for me,” my sister pleaded. “Look, Dad. She’s doesn’t want to sue. The accident was her fault. Both brake lights were out,” I said.
My father’s face turned red. He started screaming at me to mind my own business. He screamed so loud that his false teeth fell out of his mouth.
My mother came out of her bedroom and in her sweet southern drawl she said, “Now, Chubby, leave the girls alone. Stop acting like a jackass. If Debbie doesn’t want to sue, then she doesn’t have to sue and that’s the end of it.”
Huffing and puffing, my father walked around in circles.
“Okay, okay. She doesn’t want to sue,” he muttered to himself loud enough for everyone to hear. Wait a minute. I’ve got insurance. If someone gets hurt in my car they have a right to do anything they want to me. Finally his face brightened up. He sat down in his chair and thought for a few more moments. A big smile came over his face.
“Hey, Ros, old kid, old pal, old friend. Come here for a minute,” he said. I sat down on the couch and looked my father in the eye.
“Here’s the way it was,” he said. “You were lying down on the back seat of the car when your sister had the accident. That’s why nobody saw you. You were an innocent passenger. You fell off the back seat when the car was hit and went unconscious.”
“That’s ridiculous! I’m not going to sue some poor strange person,” I said.
“Hey, what do you think I am? You think I’d make you sue some stranger? No, no, no. You’re gonna sue me!”
Roslyn Hammer wrote for the Ojai Valley VOICE during the 1990s. She has a background in stand-up comedy and comedy writing.
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